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How did the New Plan affect Germany's economy?

The New Plan revitalised Germany's economy by reducing unemployment, increasing production, and achieving autarky.

The New Plan, introduced by Hjalmar Schacht in 1934, was a significant turning point for Germany's economy during the interwar period. It aimed to reduce unemployment, increase production, and achieve autarky (economic self-sufficiency), which it largely succeeded in doing. The plan was a response to the economic crisis that Germany faced due to the Great Depression and the reparations imposed by the Treaty of Versailles.

One of the main achievements of the New Plan was the significant reduction in unemployment. When the Nazis came to power in 1933, unemployment was at a staggering six million. However, by 1939, this figure had fallen to less than one million. This was achieved through a series of public works programmes, such as the construction of the Autobahn, and the introduction of conscription, which absorbed a large portion of the unemployed population.

The New Plan also led to a substantial increase in production, particularly in sectors that were crucial for Hitler's rearmament plans. The production of coal, steel, and other raw materials increased significantly, as did the production of consumer goods. This was facilitated by the introduction of strict controls on imports and exports, which ensured that Germany's resources were used for domestic production rather than being exported.

Finally, the New Plan aimed to achieve autarky, or economic self-sufficiency. This was seen as crucial for Germany's ability to wage war without being dependent on foreign supplies. While complete autarky was never achieved, the New Plan did succeed in reducing Germany's dependence on foreign imports. This was achieved through the development of synthetic substitutes for imported goods, such as oil and rubber, and the establishment of trade agreements with countries in South-East Europe, which provided Germany with much-needed raw materials.

In conclusion, the New Plan had a profound impact on Germany's economy. It succeeded in reducing unemployment, increasing production, and moving Germany towards autarky. However, it is important to note that these achievements came at a cost, including increased government control over the economy and the suppression of workers' rights.

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